Tuesday, 28 February 2017

New Community Planning toolkit and guidance by Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service and Historic England

Your Place Matters

All rural places and buildings are a reflection of how people have lived, worked, thought and related to each other throughout history. Rural settlement is at the core of our everyday lives and provides a base from which we view and experience the wider landscape. The villages, hamlets, farmsteads, and houses that we call home, connect us to each other and to our shared sense of history.

Understanding the series of changes that have created a place over time, can inspire and guide future changes, including the scale, style, form and location of new development, as well as opportunities presented by the natural and historic environment.
Your Place Matters: Community Planning Toolkit for the Future of Rural Buildings and their Setting is a new toolkit by Worcestershire County Council and Historic England. It focuses on what buildings tell us about places and can support Community-Led planning, including Neighbourhood Plans, by offering a framework to inform the location and character of new development in rural areas, based on an understanding of place, as the result of past change.  It can also be used by those undertaking research into individual areas.

This toolkit is supported by a guidance document Your Place  Matters: A Guide to Understanding Buildings and their Setting in Rural Worcestershire. This complementary document provides detailed information on the broad range of rural building types and their settings within their settlement and wider landscape.

The toolkit can be found at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/Yourplacematters www.worcestershire.gov.uk/Yourplacematters

Monday, 20 February 2017

Love Worcester

Once again February Half-term sees the return of Love Worcester festival, as heritage venues throughout the city invite residents and visitors to come and explore.

Here is The Hive we have a couple of events:

Hands on History
Thursday 23 February 10am-3pm
We'll be in the Children's Library with a sandpit so children can take part in a mock –excavation and hunt for Roman artefacts. They can then take it to the identification table, draw/record it, and have a look under the microscope. There's also the opportunity to make a mosaic for a small charge of £2.50. No booking needed, just come along.

A young archaeologist at last year's event

The Mystery of Shakespeare's Marriage and the World of Tudor Worcester
Saturday 25 February 2:00-3:30pm   £6
Join us on a Tudor themed behind the scenes tour as we show you documents and artefacts related to the 16th century. We'll look at Shakespeare's marriage bond and discuss whether there is a discrepancy with the Bishop's Register, browse Shakespeare's grandfather's will, and find out what happened with Queen Elizabeth I visited the city. We ran this tour twice last year and it was sold out both times. You can book online at https://e-services.worcestershire.gov.uk/LibraryEvents/EventDetails.aspx?id=308

There are plenty of other events happening around the city and you can see them all at http://www.visitworcestershire.org/worcester/Love-Worcester.aspx

Love Worcester also saw the launch of a film promoting the members of the Worcester Heritage Forum and hopefully highlighting things people may not have been aware of before.

We hope you get a chance to enjoy some of these events this week and find out about Worcester's great heritage!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Final Broadway Dig Open Day

Our Broadway dig is coming to an end, so we are holding a final open day on Monday, 20th February from 10:30-15:00. Come along and visit the excavation, talk to our archaeologists, handle some of the finds, and find out about the fascinating history of the area.

We have got evidence of some of Broadway's earliest known residents: Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living around 10,000 years ago; and some intriguing and unusual Bronze Age finds dating back over 4000 years. The main focus of the site is a complex Iron Age and Roman settlement, with fantastic Roman finds emerging.

Car parking is not available on-site so please use the public car park on Childswickham Road (off Cheltenham Road). The site is a 5-minute walk from the car park via footpaths from Cheltenham Road (see map below).

Map of site showing car park and public footpaths

Stout footwear is advised, as the site and the footpaths may be muddy! Visitors should gather by the entrance to the site, where artefacts will be on display. Tours of the site will be conducted by our archaeologists.

There is no need to book – just drop in and find out more about the thousands of years of history beneath your feet!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Strong Rooms Project update

In June 2016 we blogged about the exciting Strong Rooms project that Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service (WAAS) was taking part in. The Arts Council funded Strong Rooms Project is coming to a close at the end of February 2017 but Archives West Midlands will ensure a legacy for the art installation which toured the West Midlands during the summer of 2016. Throughout the project WAAS worked closely with Warwickshire County Council Archives, with Culture Coventry, with Dudley Archives and with lead artist Mohammed Ali of Soul City Arts and its production manager, Steve Mclean. 

One of the Strong Room shipping containers, with exterior by artist Mohammed Ali

The two shipping containers, pictured here, were installed, consecutively, for one week each in Rugby, Coventry, Dudley and Worcester, attracting around 7,250 visitors. For the exterior, Mohammed depicted the story of a Warwickshire lady, Dorothie Feilding, who served the allied troops in World War 1 as an ambulance driver and nurse and who's collection of family letters is curated by the County Record Office. The interior of each container houses several art pieces reflecting stories from across the West Midlands via audio and visual media.

The second Strong Room shipping container, showing a depiction of Dorothie Fielding, along with the team behind the Project

For more details of the tour and of the significant community element to this project please visit the Strong Rooms website. If you are inspired to do some archive research, remember you can visit us here at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service or you can visit any of the partners: Culture Coventry; Dudley Archives and Warwickshire Record Office.